Image source: Flickr - Nomadic Lass
A first aid kit might not be high on your packing list, but it is an item that you should carry to take care of any small emergency or easily treatable sickness that you might have on the road.
A homemade travel first aid kit should not take too much space in your bag, and this is how you can create it with the specifics of what you should include.
I'll start by saying that this is by no mean an absolute list. Medications and treatment items can vary according to your needs and health history. But in general, this list should cover all the basics.
You can create your travel first aid kit with a small cosmetic bag, or any flexible pouch or case with a zipper or locking device, and preferably, it should be waterproof. My first aid kit is actually stored in an airline goody bag, since it is small enough to fit anywhere in backpack, yet big enough to contain the following:
Personal/prescribed medications: You should carry more than the amount needed for the duration of your trip to account for any unexpected changes on the trip.
Cold & Flu Tablets: To treat cold & flu symptoms.
Tylenol/Paracetamol: To treat pain and fever.
Ibuprofen: A stronger pain and fever reducer and anti-inflammatory.
Antihistamine/Benadryl: For allergies and bug bites
Pseudoephedrine: A nasal decongestant and helps with "ear pop" from planes.
Loperamide: An anti-diarrheal.
Motion Sickness Medication: That's pretty self-explanatory.
Rehydration tablets/Electrolyte packets: To rehydrate after long vomit or diarrhea sessions.
Antiseptic towelettes: To clean your wounds and disinfect them.
Antibiotic ointment: To prevent infection on minor cuts and scrapes.
Tweezers: Useful to remove ticks, thorns, cactus, sea urchins, etc.
Band-aids: Have them in different sizes and shapes for minor cuts and scrapes.
Butterfly Band-aids or Wound Closing Strips: To help close open wounds when a visit to a doctor or stitches are not immediately available.
4 x 4 gauze pads: For minor cuts and scrapes.
Micropore/Medical Tape: To keep gauze pads in place and it serves as an alternative to butterfly Band-Aids when cut in the proper shape.
Moleskin/2nd Skin: Essential if you're hiking long distances to protect those blisters on feet and hands.
Medications can be stored in small re-sealable plastic bags (properly marked) to avoid carrying the entire bottle when it is not needed.
Although the list looks quite long, this is just a basic travel first aid kit and it will only serve for minor cuts and wound, or moderate to light symptoms. Should you need extra supplies or medication while on the road, you should visit the nearest pharmacy or consult a doctor to recommend the proper treatment for your situation. Not sure about purchasing medications outside your home country? This is where the RoamRight mobile app can come in handy. With more than 3,000 medications listed in local country equivalents, every traveler should download this to their mobile device!
Hopefully, you'll never get to require the use of your first aid kit, but it is always good to have handy to avoid small injuries to become bigger issues that could ruin your trip.
Ready to prepare your first aid kit?
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Norbert Figueroa is an architect who hit the pause button on his career in 2011 to do a round the world trip. He's been blogging for over three years at globotreks.com, where he shares his travel experiences, budget travel tips, and a good dose of world architecture. From hiking Mount Kilimanjaro to diving with great white sharks, he is always on the search of adrenaline and adventure. Norbert is originally from Puerto Rico and he is currently based in Milan, Italy... when not roaming around the world, that is. He has traveled to more than 80 countries in 5 continents and his goal is to travel to all 193 U.N. recognized countries. Follow Norbert on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus.
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